Morrissey will try his hand at fiction with his forthcoming novel, List of the Lost, due out this fall. If I were a betting person, though, I’d say a book chock-full of his most recent statements would probably sell twice as fast. In addition to slights against Sam Smith and “desperate” artists who crowdsource, the legendary musician has repeatedly made it a point to describe President Barack Obama as being “white inside,” doing so once in June and then again on Larry King Now.
The Smiths singer’s comments on Obama’s “whiteness” seem to stem from his disappointment in how the President’s been handling race relations in America, especially in the matters of Ferguson and the murder of black, unarmed teenager Michael Brown. “If Michael Brown had instead been one of Obama’s daughters, I don’t think Obama would be insisting that the nation support the so-called security forces!” he’d previously said. “How can they be called security forces if they make the people feel insecure?”
It’s one thing for a white man to want a more forceful governmental leader; it’s another thing entirely for a white man to articulate that sentiment by using black vs. white binaries and claiming a black person is not black enough. Which is pretty much what Morrissey did in a new interview with The Daily Beast.
When asked to explain exactly what he meant by Obama being “white inside,” he argued that the President has actually done more harm than good in terms of bridging the racial divide:
“I can’t see him doing anything at all for the black community except warning them that they must respect the security forces. This is ludicrous because the so-called security forces are the Ku Klux Klan to most black Americans. It seems evident to me that black males are being deliberately murdered throughout America as a closing message to Obama, telling him that his presidency has meant nothing and that the division of color is now bigger than ever.
Obama doesn’t see this, but if a white cop shot one of his daughters I don’t imagine he’d be willing to accept the exoneration of that white cop.”
For a brief paragraph, Morrissey exhibited some clarity, saying that American police forces often target “the extreme poor” who have “no influential friends and therefore can’t retaliate, and the cops know that they can play about with poor people.” He quickly circled back to jabbing the President, however, for one final, and most terrible, assessment in which he suggests a less “soft,” white Obama would be better:
“The final point about Obama is that he doesn’t look overly African black. He’s as close to soft, whiteness as someone who isn’t white could get, and I often wonder if he would have been elected if he had a stronger, more African-black face? It’s a point.”
Read the full interview here.